Much has been said about the Jazz’s recent poor stretch of play, and rightfully so. The Jazz have been very bad in their most recent stretch where they’ve gone 1 and 6. In that span, according to NBA.com, they’ve had the 26th ranked offense and the 26th ranked defense. Woof.
A team that has played that badly surely would be out of it by now, right? Well, the Jazz are still 12-10 and if the playoffs started today they would be the 6th seed.
Look, I get it. This Jazz team wasn’t supposed to just be good, they were supposed to be great, maybe even a title contender. Good isn’t good enough for what the Jazz have invested. But there are some reasons to stay excited about this season.
The Jazz have played well in stretchest this year but have they ever hit their stride?
Doesn’t this shot seems like ages ago?
The Jazz are barely keeping their head above water right now but it wasn’t long ago the Jazz were holding down the #1 defense in the league.
If you take out the last 6 games, the Jazz had the #1 defense in the league with the #21 offense. Could this be just a bad stretch? It’s possible.
And on top of that had the Jazz ever really played a full game of their best basketball? We’ve seen stretches of brilliance this year from Donovan Mitchell. Coming out of the gates he was lighting the league on fire. Bojan Bogdanovic has exceeded everyone’s expectations this season by being the most efficient scorer on the team.
Two things that have been strange have been Joe Ingles’ inconsistent play and the slow start for Mike Conley. But do we really think those two have just fallen off a cliff? Or could it be more of both players adjusting to completely new roles?
Conley is taking nearly half the shots he was on the Grizzlies in a completely different offense. Joe Ingles is getting used to a world without Derrick Favors in the pick and roll against second units. It’s been tough for both.
Both of these guys are high level players and will figure it out, they just have to adjust. The problem is that the bench has just not been good enough and that brings us to our second point.
A trade is likely coming, but maybe not the one you expect
Or maybe it’s a trade you expect, maybe you have a crystal ball, or a Jazz palantir, I don’t know.
Either way, you can bet that the Jazz front office isn’t going to sit back and let this season fall apart, there’s been too much invested and the Jazz are going to need to invest in their bench some more.
As we speak the New York Knicks dumpster fire is blazing and their might be some available pieces.
Knicks fired coach David Fizdale, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 6, 2019
This summer there were rumors that the Jazz had interest in Bobby Portis.
Hearing Bobby Portis has significant interest in coming to the Utah Jazz. Portis is a restricted free agent for the Washington Wizards. He’s a power forward/center who is a good perimeter shooter. Eight days until free agency starts— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 22, 2019
That’s a big man who could definitely be available. Does he move the needle a ton? I’m not sure, but he’s a proven stretch big that could be a nice addition to the second unit and help solidify those minutes.
Or, even better, maybe the Jazz could find a way to get Marcus Morris from the Knicks. With all the changes going on in New York, Morris could possibly be had if the Knicks like some of the Jazz pieces.
Currently, Morris is on a 1-year $15 million deal. He’s shooting 50% from three and scoring 18 a game.
Those are really solid numbers but there are a few things that are worrying about Morris. He’s a bit of a ball stopper and will take ill-advised shots at times. The Knicks have won four games this year with him also. Is he a good stats, bad team player? Or could Quin Snyder find a way to bring the best out of him? He was also part of the Boston team that couldn’t win games last year. With him and Kyrie Irving gone they are thriving.
Because he’s 30, on a team that should be focusing on the youth, on a one-year deal, he could possibly be had. It might be worth it.
Whatever the Jazz try to do, you can bet there will likely be a move soon. Something has to happen to shore up the bench that has been swiss cheese on defense and unable to score. And if the Jazz can find a solid piece, that could take them to the next level.
The schedule is about to loosen up and it could help the Jazz finally hit their stride
This really shouldn’t have to matter this year. If the Jazz were a title contender, schedule would be less of a story.
But with the Jazz’s struggling to figure things out on offense and players like Conley and Ingles trying to learn their new roles, playing against worse teams could give the Jazz a chance to get rolling.
The Jazz have been trying to iron things out against the toughest teams in the league. Those teams are hard to beat when everything is running at full speed. It’s near impossible to do when you don’t have everything working.
Can the Jazz get things rolling against the lower level teams so later they can become the team we hoped for? We shall see.